Wire-wrapped Z80

Computers & Mobile
Wire-wrapped Z80

I got a nice response, both here and on Twitter, to my Lost Knowledge column on wire-wrapping. Folks had memories, both fond and otherwise, of wrapping circuits. In the comments, Tai Oliphant posted a link to his Z80 computer project, which was wire-wrapped (with over 350′ of 30-gauge wire!).

Z80 Microcomputer Project

Lost Knowledge: Wire-wrapping
Homemade computer

4 thoughts on “Wire-wrapped Z80

  1. Mike Yancey says:

    Boy this is good to see. This made me think of a project I worked on at Mostek in about 1981 on an in-circuit emulator using a Z80 to control a M68000 ICE.

    These processors are so robust that you can lower the clock rate from 2Mhz down to around 200hz and it’ll still run (albeit slowly). (I remember doing this with the original 68000, just to see if it’d work).

    Zilog still makes them: http://www.zilog.com

    And there’s at least a couple of Z80 Programming books online (PDF) format.

    Great project!

    Mike Y
    Dallas, Texas

  2. Tai O says:

    Yeah, these processors can run at a very slow clock rate. I was using a 2.5Mhz Z80 but it can be single stepped using a push button! This is very useful to debug hardware or software. It’s neat to see the data show up right in front of your eyes on the hexadecimal displays and the LED display board. This project ultimately gave me a better understanding of how computers operate and how to program using assembly language!

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at garstipsandtools.com.

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